Norfolk Cricket Alliance: Champions Horsford A face anxious wait
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Horsford A recorded an excellent win at closest rivals Dereham to clinch the Norfolk Alliance Division One title – but it remains to be seen whether they will be going up.
Despite being confirmed as champions Horsford must put their promotion celebrations on hold due to the plight of their colleagues in the East Anglian Premier League. League rules prevent two teams from one club competing in the same division – so the firsts will need to climb off the bottom of the table in the next two weeks to allow their seconds to take their rightful place in the top flight.
All Horsford A could do on Saturday was win their match, and they did so in some style on the ground of the team who went into the final match of the season in second position. Chris Read led the way with a superb 135 and Adam Dismore contributed 59 as the visitors made an impressive 286-7 in their 50 overs and that was more than adequate as Dereham were dismissed for 237 in the 44th over. Dave Lake had an excellent game for the hosts, following up figures of 4-63 with a fine innings of 86.
The result allowed Acle to leapfrog Dereham into the second promotion position courtesy of an emphatic win at Lowestoft, who also had hopes of finishing in the top two going into the final weekend.
Craig Press led the way with an unbeaten 98 as visitors made 250-6 at the Denes Oval and it was far too much for Lowestoft, who slumped to 125 all out as Shaun Roberts took 4-30.
Whether second place will be good enough for promotion in any of the divisions depends on a number of factors.
It remains to be seen whether Premier Division champions Brooke will be going for promotion, and possibly freeing up a place in the top flight, while if either Horsford or Great Witchingham are relegated from the EAPL that would also affect who goes up and down.
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Norwich A finished their Division One campaign with a flourish by completely outplaying Mattishall, who were dismissed for just 46 chasing an unlikely target of 340. Russell Emmanuel smashed 138 for the victors before Paul Wiseman (6-30) and Chris Borrett (4-14) wrapped things up in double quick time.
Topcroft were condemned to finishing in the bottom two after their match against Stow was cut short by the weather.
Up in the top flight Brooke rounded off their triumphant campaign with a draw as rain intervened. It was a tough day for their bowlers as North Runcton's Ben Coote (123 not out) and Dean Robinson (111 not out) put on an unbeaten 215 for the third wicket in a 40-over total of 278-2. Brooke were struggling on 118-6 when stumps were drawn. Garboldisham made sure of an excellent second-placed finish in their first season at the top level when they edged past neighbours Diss by three wickets after bowling them out for just 114 (Kieran Pask 6-34).